On December 5, 2016, the FMCSA amended its rule that would establish requirements for commercial driver’s license drug and alcohol clearing house. The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will allow employers, FMCSA, State Driver Licensing Agencies and State Law Enforcement to access real time access to important information about a CDL Driver drug and alcohol program violations, which will ultimately enhance safety on our Nation’s public roadways.
When must the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse be used?
There are 2 keys dates with regards to the clearing house. On January 6, 2020, authorized users will be required to complete the actions described in the Clearinghouse final rule. At this time, employers will be required to conduct both electronic queries and traditional manual inquiries with previous employers to meet the three-year time frame, required by FMCSA’s drug and alcohol use testing program. This 3-year time frame is for checking CDL driver violation histories. It is important to note that drivers may also view their own records for information recorded on or after January 6, 2020.
On JANUARY 6, 2023: Once three years of violation data has been reported and stored in the Clearinghouse, employers are no longer required to also request information from the driver’s previous FMCSA-regulated employers under 391.23(e); an employer’s query of the Clearinghouse will satisfy that requirement.
What Information will the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Contain?
The FMCSA Clearinghouse will contain information on all CDL driver drug and alcohol program violations.
These violations include:
- Report for duty/remain on duty for safety-sensitive function with alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater or while using any drug specified in the regulations (Part 40), other than those prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner
- Alcohol use while performing, or within four hours of performing, a safety-sensitive function
- Alcohol use within eight hours of a post-accident alcohol test
- Test positive for use of specified drugs
- Refusing to submit to a required alcohol or drug test
Who will be using the Clearinghouse?
Employers must report drug and alcohol violations and check that no current or prospective employee is prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a CMV, due to a drug and alcohol program violation for which a driver has not successfully completed a Return-To-Duty (RTD) process.
CDL Drivers Responsibilities-
CDL drivers are responsible to view their own record, provide consent to current or prospective employers to access details about any drug and alcohol program violations, and select a Substance Abuse Professional, if needed
Medical Review Officers-
Report verified positive drug test results and test refusals
Substance Abuse Professionals-
Report Return to duty initial assessment and eligibility status for Return to duty testing.
Consortium/Third Party Administrators-
On behalf of an employer, report drug and alcohol program violations and perform driver queries as required
STATE DRIVER LICENSING AGENCIES-
Query the Clearinghouse prior to completing licensing transactions
What drivers or employers will be impacted the FMCSA Clearinghouse?
All CDL drivers who operate CMVs on public roads, and their employers and service agents. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Interstate and intrastate motor carriers, including passenger carriers
- School bus drivers
- Construction Equipment Operators
- Limousine Drivers
- Municipal vehicle drivers (e.g., waste management vehicles)
- Federal and State agencies that employ drivers subject to FMCSA drug and alcohol use testing regulations (e.g., Department of Defense, public transit)